RE: New Hires

Subject: RE: New Hires
From: Kevin McLauchlan <KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 10:47:38 -0500

New perspective, folks.

As I was reading Eric Dunn's comments, disecting
and rebutting the earlier p/o/s/t/e/r/ er, I mean
earlier post, I suddenly recognized the pattern
I was seeing. Hey, Eric, gang, if we're smart we
ALL do that sort of thing, given the opportunity.

Think about it for a second... ok, second's up.

Under what circumstances is one most likely to
encounter a list of job qualifications that are
either next-to-impossible or eerily precise?

The answer is: when you've been asked to write
the job-posting description for your own position.

In such a case, any sane employee is going to
include every one of her/his own strong-points,
peculiar abilities and historical assets
("... in addition, the ideal candidate will have
ghost-written the original 'C' for Kernighan &
Ritchie, helped Bill Gates to port CP/M to that
little IBM box, worked the swing-shifts as Mother
Theresa's backup,...") -- whether they are essential
to doing the current job or not.

You'll also want to downplay (conveniently forget
to mention...) any areas where you might be lacking.
Later, when all the applicants seem SO sadly wanting
of the official (see? there they are in writing, under
the company letterhead...) qualifications, you can
allow as how your new cow-orker **could** conceivably
be permitted to lack in a few of those areas because
you can (magnanimously, of course) "help get them up
to speed" when they come on board.

But, back in the other real world, many of us will
admit that being unfamiliar with some tools, and even
asking for some training, are neither mortal sins nor
glaring admissions of inadequacy in a new (or potential
new) tech-writing peon. For a short-term contract,
I'd want a person to have some familiarity with at least
one of the major tools involved. But for a longterm
hire, I'd merely like the person to have met and
successfully learned/used office software of some sort.
Having done it once, I'm sure they can do it again with
whatever tools we happen to favor, in-house.

Thanks for your time.

PS: Regarding my earlier post, I had some technical
problems in falling on my sword, but a helpful
listmate has offered a replacement. We're currently
haggling about price.

Kevin McLauchlan
kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com

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